Save Money on Coffee

Kim Conte

Spending all your money at the coffee shop? Sounds all too familiar to me. Recently we had a family intervention when it was discovered that I was whiling away a significant part of our family budget on gourmet coffee drinks at Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, and the like. What can I say? That stuff is addicting. And I didn't realize how quickly satisfying my caffeine fix added up each day.

Ever since I've been forcing myself to be my own barista and brew my coffee drinks at home. And, I've been bugging resourceful CafeMoms—particularly those in the Frugal & Thrifty Moms Group—for drink recipes, brewing tips, and great coffee products they can't stand to be without.

Here's what I've compiled so far:

  • wells75904 says: There are some things I can't live without...I only drink Folders coffee, it's the best tasting of the cheaper brands.
  • Salina123 had some advice that I bet will give the Starbucks Caramel Macchiato a run for its money: I always look in the ads to see which store has Coffee-Mate creamers on sale, then I go there...My favorite is Coffee-Mate liquid Vanilla Caramel. But before you put anything in your cup, first squeeze some caramel ice cream topping in it first. Then put in the coffee and creamer! Enjoy!
  • And speaking of Coffee-Mate creamers, I know there a bunch of CafeMoms like MichelleK41 who can't get enough of the seasonal Caramel Apple flavor.
  • SWKansasmomma shared her secret for enjoying cheap iced coffee whenever she gets a craving: I am an iced coffee addict. I love those yummy ones from Sonic Drive-In...but they are costly. So now I have learned how to make them at home on my own. I just make a full pot of coffee and refrigerate. Then when I want an iced one, I pull it out, throw in some flavored creamer or chocolate syrup, some sugar, and ice...and I have it made.
  • I'm addicted to the Chai Lattes at Starbucks. My trick is to by the boxed Chai mix (Oregon Chai or Tazo brands are good) and heat it with some milk in the microwave. One box usually lasts me up to two weeks. I also found this great recipe in the Frugal and Thrift Moms forum.

Starbucks Chai Tea Copycat Recipe

3 cups water

3 cups milk

6-8 black tea bags

1/2 cup honey

1 teaspoon ground cinammon

1 teaspoon ground cardamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon groun cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Bring water and milk to a boil. Add other ingredients. Return to boil. Turn off heat and let steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove tea bags and filter through a fine strainer. This can be stored in the refrigerator for later use.

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